Local Independent Deputy, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, made his first speech in the Dáil on Tuesday this week, October 18.
Deputy Moran began by telling the Deputies in attendance of the “honour” he felt standing in front of them as a member of the 32nd Dáil.
He extended his gratitude to the people of Longford-Westmeath for giving him the opportunity to represent them, and pledged to do everything he can to work for the betterment of the constituency.
Deputy Moran also took the opportunity to express his appreciation to his wife Michelle and sons Jamie and John for all of their support since the very first day he entered politics. “I am forever grateful for their help and encouragement,” he commented.
He continued by congratulating An Taoiseach Enda Kenny on his re-election as Taoiseach and wished him every success as the “Government sets about restoring people’s faith in politics and in an economy” and bringing about a “real and sustainable improvement in their lives”.
Discussing last week’s Budget, Deputy Moran said its contents conveyed that the country is now heading in the right direction.
“Last week’s Budget had one key element - a rise in public purse expenditure of €1.3bn,” he said. “It was not so long ago when people’s anger spilled over on the streets outside this very chamber at the level of cuts that they had to endure to their livelihoods, cuts that affected every man, woman, and child in the country. But, thankfully, we are now in a different place.
“In particular, I want to note the funding for 800 new gardaí, some 1,000 nurses, and 650 teachers and SNAs. In total, around 4,500 frontline staff, such as nurses, gardaí, and teachers, will be recruited in the coming months. This Budget also addresses the concerns of rural Ireland and the help required for those trying to make a living from the land.
“Positive measures include the introduction of a Sheep Farmers’ Grant Scheme to the value of €25m; a review and improvement of Farm Assist Payments; an increase in the cap for the Rural Social Scheme; and an increase in the allowance for the Town and Village Renewal Scheme to €12m.”
While admitting more needs to be achieved, he said the Budget “is a first step along a road to recovery” that the Government is committed to.
“Since the economic crash, people have felt they are not getting a fair share of the opportunities and profits generated in society. There is now a great need to look at a new kind of social contract, where everyone plays their part and feels valued again,” he concluded.